The Museum Association of New York’s Access and Identity 2019 Annual Conference might be over but the networking and idea building has just begun. Whether it was your first MANY conference or your fifth, these five things will help you make the most of your conference experience.
Take the Post-Conference Survey
The theme for 2020 conference in Albany is The Power of Partnership. We want to hear from you to ensure that The Power of Partnership is even better than Access and Identity. Please take a few minutes to give us your feedback with our post-conference survey, which you can take here in less than twenty minutes. Your feedback is integral to our conference development over the coming months. We'll be reading all of your comments and using them to shape the program and events for #MANY2020 in Albany.
Get social, stay social.
Live tweeting throughout the conference is great, but taking the time to reflect and write a meaningful reflection about the sessions you attended can further strengthen your social media presence in the NYS museum world. Review your notes, write out posts or a Twitter thread, and appropriately tag speakers and other institutions. Or you can start a Twitter chat about a topic discussed at the conference. Keep using #MANY2019 to continue the conversations that started at the conference.
Put those business cards to use.
The art of collecting and distributing the business card is a key part of attending any conference. Use the weeks following the conference to use these business cards to reach out to your new contacts. That doesn’t necessarily mean picking up the phone or sending an email but engaging with them on their social media platforms as well. Follow them on their social media handles, engage with what they’ve posted during the conference, and use a professional portal like LinkedIn to connect with your museum peers and new conference contacts to build up your digital contacts.
Reconnect with your museum team.
You and your museum colleagues might have attended different conference sessions but it is important to meet and discuss your experiences. By reflecting and reviewing your conference notes together you can share insights on ideas presented by the sessions you attended. Take the time to meet in person and share your takeaways with your team. Invite staff, volunteers, and board member who did not attend to share what you learned. It gives the entire museum team the opportunity to ask questions about the conference.
Ask yourself, “Did I get the most out of my conference experience?”
Did you attend the sessions that you wanted to? Were the sessions relevant to your needs or did the presenters answer your questions? Were your individual or institutional goals for this conference met? Some of these answers will be helpful in your MANY conference survey, but it is important to reflect on your own. Record and gather the information you learned and write down your recollection of the sessions attended. Highlight key areas that your institution could focus on and note key people you interacted with or who presented these ideas to connect with in the future or to follow up with.
Thank you for a wonderful conference in Cooperstown! We want to express our sincerest gratitude to all of you for making the 2019 conference a success. MANY is proud to report that this year’s conference has broken our attendance record with 446 museum professionals joining the conversation in Cooperstown.